European Championships Gothenburg (and some other stuff)

Four Seasons

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14 September 2011
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448
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The Netherlands
Hi everyone!

Had an extremely busy summer, travelling to shows and competing my own horses too. My last thread was on the World Cup finals in Omaha, haven't really had time to make a thread on the summer, till now. I've actually got more than enough time now, as I've broken my back... *eye-rolling*. I'm still coming to terms with it, but yes, well and truely broken, 3 vertebrae to be exact. All thanks to my mums horse, who is so sweet and kind, wouldn't even hurt a fly. She spooked as I was dismounting, so I had to rodeo it out without stirrups or a proper grip on the reins. Obviously the horse won and I ended up in the ambulance (almost got a flight in a helicopter, but they cancelled that, not fair..... :( Was pretty stoked about that once they'd given me a bunch of drugs :p )
Anyway, yeah so here I am, out of action for at least 3 months. Really bummed, cause I had shows planned and my boss had some amazing shows planned (Lyon, Stuttgart and London). After a long crying session, I've accepted my potato couch fate for now. :(

Now on to happier times... good memories!

As some of you know, I am a professional show groom, for Madeleine Witte-Vrees. I've done some fair bit of travelling and love every minute of my job. Cennin is an absolute superstar and the sweetest stallion on earth. I absolutely adore him.


Our first show after Omaha, was CHIO Rotterdam in June. The Nations Cup Grand Prix went amazingly well and Cennin (and Madeleine!) were sharp and in top form. They got a whopping 75% and came second behind Laura Graves. Pretty amazing for his first outdoor show of the season. With that they qualified for the Special or Freestyle. As the FEI came up with this new rule that instead of the 3 best results counting from the Special and Freestyle as a team, they decided to make 2 Special tests count and 1 freestyle, meaning that if someone drops out in the special... you are disqualified as a team, even though you have 3 other results.

Just typical our luck, Cennin lost his front shoe 10 minutes before he had to enter the main arena. A bit chunk of his hoof broke off too, meaning we couldn't place the same shoe underneath the hoof without taking a risk... with the EC coming up, we didn't take the risk.... meaning that as the Dutch team, we were eliminated from the Nations Cup. :(

About 4 weeks later, we had the national championships. Here the coach would make his decision based on the results for the European Championships team. Everyone was fired up and willing to give their all for a team spot. It was a pretty hot and sticky week, with storms and high humidity, something that Cennin does not favor at all. The first day, Grand Prix day, Cennin was at his best and performed perfectly, with an amazing 78%, we came first! Leaving Edward Gal and Hans Peter Minderhoud behind us. :D The freestyle was the main event, as that would be the final score for the decision the coach would have to make for the team. Cennin started off good in the test, but due to rider faults and Cennin being a bit tired, he just couldn't show off. Still got a very friendly 80%, but I won't complain about that! Straight after the prize giving, the coach announced his team..... Edward Gal, Hans Peter Minderhoud, Diederik van Silfhout.... and US!!! Whoooo! :D I was so happy, excited, relieved! I'd always wanted to visit Sweden, let alone actually attend the European Championships!

So roll on to August.. we arrived on the Saturday evening. The vet check was on Sunday. With the other grooms, we decorated our part of the stable... must say... still proud of that, the stewards and stable manager agreed, we had the best decorated stable!




We had some fun with our orange stuff in other stables too..


Cennin settled in very quickly... pretty boy!


Sunday was vet check day. Cennin was so insanely excited, that he had to trot up two times, he bucked all the way during the first trot up!! We managed to get a picture of him and Weihegold together though..... :D


We also made a team pic


Monday we had an official training in the main arena. I've never seen anything like it... what an arena! Huge setup, packed with character... left me pretty speechless.


The Grand Prix was divided in two days. Tuesday one half, Wednesday the other. We were raffled into the second day, which has it's perks (judges like to score higher, for some reason) and it's down sides (knowing the scores to beat, pressure). So this was an easy, stress-free day for me. I watched the dressage all day, saw some very promising combinations for the future.


Once I'd finished watching, I walked back to the stables. It really is amazing that they pulled this event off, in the middle of the city. The whole city was lit up purple. As you can see, those three towers are actually a hotel. Behind those, is a rollercoaster park. In front you can see the stables.


Wednesday.... make or break it day. Unfortunately Cennin wasn't quite in form that week... Also Madeleine had some nerves there too, as this was her first International Championship (World Cup aside, but as a team). It just didn't come together as we'd hoped and some big mistakes slipped in. I'm still very proud of Cennin for giving his all, trying his heart out!


We did manage to get through to the Special. Cennin felt slightly better than in the Grand Prix, but no-where near as good as he's been at home. Think we got 75% (can't remember, terrible memory.... not old, just forgetful!). That was more than enough needed to get through to the freestyle!! Best 15 of Europe!

The day of the final.... I hand walked Cennin in the morning. Here you can see the huuuuuuge stadium. It was a 10 minute walk from our stables. The stables you see in the distance are the show jumpers.


I didn't take any pictures from the kiss and cry they had set up for the groom/coach/team. I could hardly watch the freestyle actually, I was so nervous for them. The Dutch team coach grabbed me and spinned me around, holding me the whole test, we were both trying to ride for her. We were clicking and giving leg aids... I bet if someone had filmed us, we'd end up in a comedy film. So I have a youtube video of the test for you instead...

https://youtu.be/fkqf_AexGAE

He still wasn't quite in top form, neither was my rider. But they did it, they rode at the European Championships! Something I can only dream of doing myself...

I went out in the city that night with another groom, we partied all night long! The Swedish people.... they are amazing! So friendly and open to new people! I would definitely go back to Gothenburg for a city trip... :D


Now onto my own little superstar! The pocket rocket!
After Gotherburg I planned in three shows at L2 level, I guess that's intermediate/medium level for BD? A new level for Elena, but well capable of it. First show we had too much tension, made some mistakes, got 63% and 70%. A total surprise as I though it was terrible! Apparently it looked steady and smooth.... looking back at video's and pictures, I can see why.


[video]https://www.facebook.com/philippa.waterstreet/videos/1730601583648904/[/video]

Second show was two weeks later, she always goes better once she's in a competition routine. She warmed up smoothly, sharp on my leg, had her going at a nice rythm. I made a mistake in the second test, wrong turn.... duh.. silly me! Was very happy overall, with 71% and 68% and two firsts!


A short video of the second show
[video]https://www.facebook.com/philippa.waterstreet/videos/1788591174516611/[/video]

As for the third show... that was cancelled.... cause I broke my bloody back. :(



So, that was my summer.... onto some very boring next few months....
 
Last edited:

ester

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Oh Damn! I hope mum is suitably apologetic for her clear nutter of a horse!

Lovely pics and report though so I am glad you have finally had enforced time to write it, do they think you will heal up ok?
 

j1ffy

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27 January 2009
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Oxon
What a fab report! But what awful news about your back :( I'm assuming no nerve damage or fusing? Fingers crossed for a smooth recovery, Cennin and your girl look fantastic.
 

Orangehorse

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25 November 2005
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11,742
What a great report, very interesting to have a "behind the scenes" of what was going on and all the dramas that happen.

What rotten luck about your back, hope it heals well and you are quickly back on your feet and going again.
 

Bernster

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14 August 2011
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London
Great report, sounds like an amazing experience. Love the pics!

Awful about your back though, that sounds hideous. Hope all goes ok with the recovery!
 

JennBags

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21 May 2002
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I really love your reports of life behind the scenes, thanks for taking the time for write them.

I'm so sorry about your back, you must be in a lot of pain as well as frustrated, and next time insist on a helicopter ride :lol: The time will whizz by and you'll be back on board before you know it.
 

McFluff

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1,514
Wow, great report. Your horse looks gorgeous. Wishing you a speedy and successful recovery. Look after yourself and give things time to heal properly.
 

Four Seasons

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14 September 2011
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448
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The Netherlands
@ester
My poor mum is traumatised... she's not going to ride her horse for a while. Well the hospital found it out a week and a half later, that I had broken my back. The first set of x-rays pics they took, they couldn't see anything and said that I needed to keep moving as everything is just extremely bruised. I obviously couldn't actually stand or walk, but as they said, it was just bruised, I forced myself to walk 15 minutes a day. Went back after 4 days, complaining about this extreme pain in my spine. Doctor said it's just my muscles tightening after the accident. Went back the following week, different doctor, he immediately sent to back to radiology, took new x-rays and on those they could see something. They said it was "clean". Sent me straight to the CT-scan, walked out of the CT-scan, the nurse came running to me saying I should not move at all, no walking as they were getting a wheelchair for me... you can imagine how shocked I was.
Saw the results of the CT-scan, which really scared me. T8 is broken vertically, T9 has a horizontal fracture and T10 is in 3 pieces. :( LUCKILY, everything had stayed in place.... good thing I didn't fight through the pain, as I probably would been in a wheelchair now... permanently. So it's just a very long recovery, 3 months of lying down, walking a little bit here and there. Then another couple months of physiotherapy. Should all heal fine though, just need to be careful for the next two months especially, while it's all knitting together.

@j1ffy
My left leg tingles on and off, neorologist checked my reflexes, all fine. They think it's internal bruising at the moment. Luckily that's it.

@Orangehorse
Thanks, definitely interesting behind the scenes, learnt a lot so far!

@rosiesowner
I sometimes still can't believe that this is my job! The people I've met so far and how nice all the riders are, it's pretty amazing. :D

@Bernster
Thank you :)

@Jennbags
Thanks, I am gutted about the helicopter ride.... It was literally half way when they cancelled it! Waste of money, just sending it back... might aswell picked me up! :D I hope there is no next time though haha

@Mcfluff
Thank you!

@dominobrown
Hahaha! I wish, maybe one day we'll have team potential... Thank you for the compliment :)

@nikkimariet
Thanks :)
 

nikicb

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15 June 2009
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Was Surrey, now West Berkshire
Lovely pictures, and what a fabulous job you have - you seem to be having a great time. Sorry to hear about your fall. I am sure your Mum is mortified that her horse did this to you. I felt terrible when my 5 year old son came off his pony and shattered his arm requiring 4 hours of surgery, a week in hospital (and a cancelled holiday), K wires, and ongoing treatment for a year. Please take care with your recovery and listen to your healthcare professionals and your body. Looking forward to seeing your progress next year. xx
 

ester

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31 December 2008
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Gosh, super lucky it didn't destabilise. Poor mum, even if it just does sound one of those things. Definitely worth being careful and good news that it should completely resolve totally for you even if it is temporarily very frustrating!
 

splashgirl45

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6 March 2010
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suffolk
sorry about your back it must be very frustrating.......great report cennins test looked good with a couple of blips but i loved the music, it really went with his movement, he is a very good looking chap and its lovely to get behind the scenes info as well...
 
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